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Consulting

The term consultant fills people with dread, and worries about extravagant unjustifiable costs. The reality however, is that we don't all charge silly rates, and if well planned you shouldn't need too much of a consultants time.

Like anything else it's all about a return on your investment, and using a consultant is a cost effective way of tapping into resources, skills and knowledge you may not have yourself. I can help you avoid common and costly mistakes, help you run more efficient projects and take many of the day to day issues out of your hands. I have expertise in the following areas:

Accessibility

In the UK, having an accessible website that can be used by everyone, has been a legal requirement since 2002. But an accessible site also has greater commercial, moral and technical advantage, eliminates many browsers issues, and is compatible with emerging technologies and search engines too.

All my site builds are fully accessible, and I have completed many conversions of existing designs, and give accessibility guidance. I offer accessibility testing and reporting, as well as providing training courses and seminars in acceesibility.Why not contact me to discuss your options, or to learn more about it.

Agency selection

Many organisations are often not too sure how to go about finding agency partners to work with, how to assess their skills and abilities, where to look for them, and how to get the best from them.

I have recruited countless 3rd party partners, for projects in creative, technical and marketing, and I have a list of tried and tested agencies with varied skills that deliver great work. I can help you select from your own list, help you make a list, run an agency pitch and verify possible partners capabilities, so why not contact me to see if I can help you find the best partner for your project?

Content management

Content is king but producing it and keeping it that way can be a challenge. I have developed simple systems and commissioned enterprise wide content management for businesses like ICI with widely distributed content across a global business.

By understanding your organisation, your skill levels, and the scale of activity I can assess a number of options for content management from off the shelf to bespoke. I can organise software licensing, hardware commissioning, deployment, design, customisation and training in this area, and I have list of potential suppliers and partners to work with. Contact me to see if I can help you manage your content?

Content writing

Most businesses on line efforts are judged by what they have to say and how this is delivered. Writing great copy, organising and formatting it specifically for web delivery is a different skill which has a significant impact on the whole site. Why spend good money on great visual design just to wreck it with poorly formed content.

I have worked with organisations like the DTI and conduct regular training courses in writing for the web, so why not contact me for a chat to see if I can help you deliver sticky first rate content your users will love?

Strategy and planning

Many businesses still seem to approach the web from a poor strategic position. They find it hard to work out where the web fits within their organisation, and are often left wondering what the point is and why so much time, effort and expense seemed to deliver so little.

I was a senior marketing manager for companies like Yamaha before I came to online, and with skills in business management, marketing and online I can help you get the web working hard. Why not contact me to see if can help your organisation produce a great road map to exploit the potential of the web.

Search engines and web marketing

With billions of pages now available on the web, it's the first place people go to find products, services and information, and using search is the most likely method of them finding your site. A search marketing strategy is vital for success in this crowded market.

I have completed search projects in multiple languages for clients like Value retail who own Bicester outlet village in Oxford. I can undertake search term research, give you detailed implementation guides and help resolve technical issues. I can also help you find a good longer term web marketing company and I offer training in this area too, so why not contact me for a chat to see if I can boost your search results?

Site testing and assessments

Everyone wants a great looking site, but it's what goes on under the skin that governs much of it's success in so many areas. You don't want a Ferrari Modena on the outside with mechanics of a 1972 mini under the body work do you?

Like an RAC man, I can have a good dig around under the bonnet (hood if your American!) of your site and give you report on it's condition. I can assess your site for accessibility conformance, standards compliance, general errors and omissions, performance problems, poor practice, search engine friendliness and other areas. Have a look at my sample report (512kb - about 20 secs) and then contact me for a chat to see if I can help?

Staff recruitment

Selecting good staff in the area of web is fairly similar to selecting partners, and many organisations seem to find it difficult to understand the skills sets required for their business, find it hard to assess skills and abilities, and usually feel uncomfortable recruiting people with high tech or specialist skills.

I can help you define roles within projects and your organisation, make sure that relevant hard and soft skill sets are realistic and achievable, and ensure that accurate job descriptions get you great people with all the right skills you need. Why not contact me to see if I can help you find the best people and skills for your business.

Standards compliant web design

There is much debate about the use of web standards, and many designers and clients don't know anything about them. The fact is that if all designers designed according to the w3c standards and all user agent makers made their browsers standards compliant then all sites would work in all browsers.

Which ever standard you choose to adopt, I think it is important develop compliant sites that minimise browser issues and make sites compatible with many platforms and emerging technologies. I can advise how to achieve this, and which standard to go for, I can assess your existing site, and offer training in this area, so why not contact me for more information?

Usability

Usability or “human user interface design” is another vital aspect to running a web site. Understanding how people go about using your website, how they follow processes and their general psychology makes an enormous difference.

I can deliver usability training courses, organise specialist testing, and include usability assessment into my assessment reports. I will also make sure you run usability testing at the right time in a new build project, so contact me to see if I can help you keep your users happy and coming back for more.

Web project management

Keeping a handle on all areas of a web project can be tricky even for well qualified project managers. I have had years of experience working on a large variety of web projects, and can now second guess where they are likely to go wrong.

Have a look at my web projects page to see if I can help or run your web project for you, or see my training course page to see if I can help develop your own skills in this area.

Web hosting

Having your site hosted on robust, tolerant, scalable and reliable systems will see it served out quickly and efficiently time after time. Whilst I am not web systems architect, I have worked with many and have arranged hosting for some fairly large companies.

I understand server architecture, and the agreements and commercial arrangements that should be in place to ensure your site is reliably served. Why not contact me to see if I can help you in this area, or talk to me about incorporating this into your project.